By Kara Dixon Vuic
"‘I by no means acquired an opportunity to be a girl,’ Kate O’Hare Palmer lamented, thirty-four years after her travel as a military nurse in Vietnam. even if pleased with having served, she felt that the struggle she by no means understood had robbed her of her innocence and compelled her to develop up too fast. As depicted in a photo taken overdue in her journey, lengthy hours within the working room exhausted her either bodily and mentally. Her drained eyes and gaunt face mirrored th e weariness she felt after treating numerous sufferers, a few demise, a few maimed, all, like her, eternally replaced. nonetheless, she realized to paintings tougher and speedier than she idea she may, to belief her nursing abilities, and to stay independently. She constructed the way to stability the hazards and merits of being a lady within the military and within the conflict. basically fourteen months lengthy, her journey in Vietnam profoundly affected her existence and her beliefs."
Such brilliant own money owed abound in historian Kara Dixon Vuic’s compelling examine the stories of military nurses within the Vietnam battle. Drawing on greater than a hundred interviews, Vuic permits the nurses to inform their very own desirable tales, from their purposes for becoming a member of the army to the actual and emotional calls for of a awful conflict and postwar debates approximately the right way to commemorate their carrier.
Vuic additionally explores the gender concerns that arose whilst a male-dominated military actively recruited and hired the companies of 5,000 nurses in the course of a transforming into feminist circulate and a altering nursing occupation. girls attracted to the army’s patriotic promise confronted nerve-racking realities within the almost all-male hospitals of South Vietnam. males who joined the nurse corps ran headlong into the army's trust that ladies should still nurse and males may still fight.
Officer, Nurse, Woman brings to mild the approximately forgotten contributions of courageous nurses who risked their lives to convey therapy to squaddies in the course of a terrible―and divisive―war.
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Additional info for Officer, Nurse, Woman: The Army Nurse Corps in the Vietnam War (War/Society/Culture)
The advertisements asserted that as ofﬁcers in the army, women would experience an equality with men that they would not ﬁnd in the civilian world. As nurses, they would enjoy educational support and practical training unmatched by any civilian employer. Recruitment materials assured women that being an ofﬁcer and a nurse was a progressive move for them; the ads afﬁrmed that they would not be subordinate, even in the traditionally masculine military. Meeting Nursing Demands for the Vietnam War 27 Advertisements emphasized that army nurses enjoyed equality, leadership roles, and respect because they were ofﬁcers.
151 Without ever mentioning the medical care this “beautiful” nurse would provide or the nursing skills she would use to help the patient recover, the advertisement implied that her good looks were a vital part of the comfort, assurance, and recovery the wounded soldier received.
Advertisements applauded nurses’ dedication to the nursing profession. One advertisement featured a young girl in a white nurse’s uniform with a ﬁrst aid kit and a bandaged doll. “The reasons you wanted to be a nurse are good reasons for being an Army Nurse,” the text conﬁrmed. Particularly in an era when other medical careers were open to women, this advertisement reassured them that the army valued their childhood dreams of being a nurse and would “put your training to work where it is needed most.